Hello again from Bangladesh!
We've had another wonderful few days.
We were able to tour the Bible college here and sit in on a class, as well as see the AG Home of Hope (an orphanage linked to a school). The college is open to community children and parents from non-Christian backgrounds are willing to pay the tuition and enroll their kids because it's a school with good English instruction. These funds help subsidize the Home of Home, which currently has about 100 kids living there. When the children age out of the home, many decide to continue on and attend Bible college where they are training up future church leaders here. All of the full time teachers are Bengali people, not westerners. Jonathan had a lot of great opportunities to have conversation and connect with leaders at the Bible school. All of that was just Thursday!
Friday we went to a wonderful program called "Happy Birds Assembly." Friday here is the Sabbath and when they have church. An amazing Begnali couple named Francis and Naomi, who are both church leaders here, run this program for street kids every other Friday. There were two services and each one packed in about 200 kids. They had kids worship, teaching, and everyone was given a small snack on the way out. The "Junior Leaders" of this program are the girls from Uttam's Place - the program we wrote about in our last update!
Saturday we attended a Youth Conference (youth here is anyone ages 10-32...much bigger span than what we're used to) and Jonathan gave a message in the afternoon. He did an amazing job and was thankful for the opportunity. For the next few days we're hanging out at Uttam's Place and playing games/working on English with the girls there. They are fantastic and encouraging...even if they think we're lousy at Bengali games and eating rice with our hands. (Side note: We met a great couple here that was also visiting from the States and making friends with them has been a highlight. Not the least among their many positive attributes...they helped us learn some tricks to eat rice with our hands. Life savers.) We're having a wonderful, humbling trip and can't believe how much we're learning every day and how exciting it is to see the church and the Holy Spirit here in Asia. Thanks for your continued prayers!
Sarah (and Jonathan)